Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happyville – My FAV TV shows are back!

Once upon a time there was no such thing as good TV. Now, it seems we are blessed with a treasure trove of great shows that should accommodate every taste, passion and appetite.

While I love to go to movies, the trouble is I just don't manage to find the time to go see them so, the next best thing is TV. The cable summer line up was fantastic. I started watching new programs like Hung and True Blood, Deep Blue and my standby favorites, Rescue Me, The Closer, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, and Saving Grace. God love the inventor of the DVR because often I have several hours of shows taped and I watch them AFTER I’ve shut down writing for the day. I hated to see the season finale’s of those programs. Oh yeah, there were a few great fill ins that started and ended – like Project Runway and Design Star but it felt like my good buddies were moving out of town and hated it.

But THEN …. Oh Joy! The new fall shows started in earnest this week. Yeah, baby! My winter buddies are back! Bones, Castle, Dancing with the Stars, Criminal Minds to name a few and last night my all time hands down favorite NCIS started off with a bang! If you’ve never watched NCIS, oh, boy, I just feel sorry for you :o) Mark Harmon alone as Special Agent Leroy Gibbs is worth the time but when you add Michael Weatherly as the sexy and irreverent special agent Tony DiNozzo and Cote de Palo as an Israeli Mossad agent in the form of the mysterious and beautiful kickass Ziva David – well, you have an OMG dream team. And the rest of the cast is great too! Remember David McCallum from Man from U.N.C.L.E? Well he rocks as Dr. ‘ducky’ Mallard, the chief medical examiner assigned to the team. Add the quirky Pauly Perrette as the forensics specialist and Shaun Murray who is fast coming into his own as the straight-laced computer nerd Special Agent on the team and it’s a recipe for great drama with just the right amount of humor and romance thrown into the mix.

The things I love about NCIS are the same things I love in a good book. The originality of the story lines, the complexities of the characters and the dovetailing of action and romance that sizzles beneath the surface between DiNozzo and Ziva. Truth be told, DiNozzo was the inspiration for my Black Ops Inc. alpha man/boy, Johnny Duane Reed, the hero from WHISPER NO LIES. Like Johnny, DiNozzo is all smart mouth, macho ego and little boy ornery on the surface but what he doesn’t want people to see, yet is apparent to anyone who watches the show, is that he’s intelligent, has the courage of a lion and the heart of a romantic. Big sigh. I think I just officially admitted to a huge crush :o)

So, besides wondering what TV shows you're looking forward to start up again, I’m also wondering what draws you, specifically, to those shows or to a good book or a particular author. It takes a lot of parts to make up the sum total of something special. What is it, in your opinion, that pushes a TV show or a movie or a book to that ‘something special’ level? There’s a copy of FEEL THE HEAT, my October release, (that’s right – win it before you can buy it!) in it for one lucky commenter.


Jane said...

I love NCIS and am so happy Ziva is back. I love the scenes where Tony and McGee were interviewing candidates to replace Ziva. I'm looking forward to the new season of 30 Rock and Southland. I want to be entertained and I have to like and care about the characters.

Emmanuelle said...

As I say to my friends "I'm not addicted to TV, I'm addicted to good TV shows !".
I watched Bones and NCIS this week, can't wait for Criminal Minds *sigh*, guess I'll read a little less...

Anonymous said...

I like NCIS more then the others. Why? Because this team works. By that I mean Tony is funny, especially around the fall guy McGee. McGee is cute in his own rights, and gets in his own digs on occassion.

Ziva plays the sexy, dangerous but clueless foreign girl, a much better fit in this group then Kate in my opinion. Mainly because Kate played along with Tony instead of having no clue what he was doing.

And Gibbs! O-M-G! I admit it, I have a crush on Gibbs. He's sexy, also dangerous (despite showing his age sometimes) and just the type of guy that can be fatherly yet take command at the same time.

I like Abby too, she's actually (physically and personality wise) the inspiration for my own heroine. She's just so awesome.

And if I could take Ducky and put him in a younger body--simply perfect.

NCIS works because there is no one central character. It's about the team, and yet, allowing the individuals their moment to shine.

Laney4 said...

I totally agree with all of you about NCIS.
NCIS has been the only non-talk show that I tape (I tape EVERYTHING), and now I'm taping NCIS: LA. Unfortunately, I'm way behind in my tapes, and haven't even watched last year's season finale yet, let alone this year's season opener(s). It is the only show where I sit on the edge of my seat, leaning forward in anticipation throughout most of the show.
I too started watching because of Mark Harmon (Jethro Gibbs), but I've enjoyed all of the characters. I didn't think the show would fare well when they killed off their first female agent, but Ziva's character has been well written and the show has more than survived. Fellow bloggers have been "bang on" when noting that it is an ensemble cast, and this team approach has helped in maintaining consistently great ratings.
Thanks for blogging about a great show that is easy to discuss!

Anna Dougherty said...

A good TV show has to have chemistry between characters and a good story line- original concepts are a must for me. I enjoy CSI Las Vegas, but have never warmed to the spin-offs because they are not new ideas, and the players have never caught my interest. I was sad last season when all the main characters on CSI started dying or leaving. Saw on my menu screen that Sara was back for tonights episode but I am not watching because they seem to be losing the chemistry that made the show so good. It just seems to be missing something crucial that I can't put my finger on. Loved the storyline with Lady Heather- she was so dark and tragic- compelling.

I really started liking NCIS over the summer(USA network is great for re-runs) but I am not interested in the spin-off with Chris O'Donnell. Can't imagine a team that could rival Gibbs and co.

Other shows that fascinate me- some new, some not: Fringe, Army Wives, Modern Family, Flashforward, Eastwick, True Blood

My dilemma: Everything seems to be on at once and I don't have a DVR! And I tend to forget that shows are on:)

Helen Brenna said...

So much to watch, so little time!

I love the same things you do, Cindy, and admit to a few crushes myself! lol Only I'm not telling!

CrystalGB said...

I love NCIS. Great cast of characters and I never get bored with the plot.

Liza said...

I have NCIS and NCIS-LA on my dvr to watch this weekend, along with Heroes, Mercy, Cougartown, and Gossip Girl. I'm with you on loving the inventor of the dvr. I would miss out on so many shows without it. I love, love, love NCIS! Gibbs is the reason I started watching, but the rest of the cast and Gibbs keep me watching. I can't wait to watch the shows this weekend.

I excited tonight for Grey's Anatomy to start back. Of course, that means I have to dvr The Metalist so I can watch it later too.

Cindy Gerard said...

Jane - i really liked Southland too. I'm glad to see it come back

Emmanuelle - Stop the Presses!!! Read LESS? OMG. Twenty lashes with a wet noodle for you :o) Seriously, I know what you mean. We are surrounded by 'good stuff' and not enough time.

Cindy Gerard said...

Lou - you nailed it. NCIS is a team. Not perfect, but perfect together. so much push and pull and give and take. I love Abbey. so quirky yet so loyal and emotionally committed to all of them.

Laney4 -0MG. Go immediately to your DVR. Do NOT stop at the frig and catch up on those episodes. Seriously. You don't know what you're missing. Sheer excellence!

Cindy Gerard said...

Anna - What would we do without USA? That's where I got turned on to NCIS because I didn't climb on board from the beginning.

I watched Eastwick last night. Kind of cute. Must suspend disbelief but that's okay. Like the female leads but not sure about the 'mystery' man. for me, he doesn't quite have the charisma needed to pull things off.

Helen - come on. Dish it up. Who's your big crush???

Cindy Gerard said...

Crystal - yup. You nailed it. NEVER boring in NCIS land :o)

Liza - I watched Cougartown last night and LOVED it! Courtney Cox is great. Great humor, a little bawdy - bordering on a cable shoe - and the supporting cast is perfect. Can't wait to see the next one!

Minna said...

I'm totally addicted to Numb3rs and Bones. And Globe Trekker -and Ian Wright. That guy is so funny.

Anna Dougherty said...

I had the same issue with Daniel Van Horn- I think that's his name. I suppose it's because Jack Nicholson played the original devil and it worked so well. This new guy just didn't have that raw sex appeal that I was looking for. The overall show was cute and might be worth watching, just to have a relatively happy show at the end of the day. I've been wondering why these "paranormal" type shows have such a hard time getting it right when the books are so popular. Ghost Whisperer and Medium do alright but other shows really fall flat. Wonder why?

Cindy Gerard said...

Minna - I'm not familiar with Globe Trekker. I'll have to check it out because, wow, I absolutely need one more TV show to get addicted to :o)

Anna - yeah. you nailed it. He was too smooth, not irreverent enough and just didn't come off as believable as a bad boy.

As for paranormal type shows - Have you watched True Blood? I'm not normally a fang person (I know, I know, settle down all) but True Blood really hooked me. they do a great job

Michele Hauf said...

I have to agree it's the chemistry and relationship between the characters that keep me coming back to a series.

Burn Notice: Michael and Fiona! Michael and Sam!

Supernatural: It's not about the monsters it's about the relationship the brothers have. Sam! Dean!

House: Well, he just loves himself, but still.

Watched Eastwick last night. Didn't have high expectations, but you know, I think this may be one of those great relationship shows if the writing stays as keen as it is.

Playground Monitor said...

I was tickled pink to see Castle return Monday night. And I'm so sad this is the final season of Monk. He's such a flawed, vulnerable, lovable character. I've always liked the original CSI, but like a previous commenter, the dynamic of the character ensemble fell apart last season.

I like Law and Order SVU too, and it's the characters. They play off each other so well. If you look back at the episodes before Ice-T joined, they weren't as good IMHO. When he joined, everything clicked, and he and Munch are such a great pair. I love Christine Lahti, but I'm just not sure about her as the new ADA. I loved Stephanie March's character (Alex Cabot) and wish they could bring her back like they did at the end of last season.

And last, but certainly not least, I'm looking forward to the season premiere of Desperate Housewives. It's my guilty little pleasure -- like the video version of a gossip column.


Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - yes! on Fiona and Michael and Sam. GREAT chemistry.
And HOUSE - yes, well you got him, all right. I have the season premier dvr'd and hope to find time to watch it soon.

Marilyn - i like Law and Order SVU also but for some reason i rarely watch it except on USA reruns. I know it's a great show.

Debra Dixon said...

I love NCIS. Love love love.

So, I'm a happy girl. Cannot wait for next week.

I also love Bones, House, Supernatural, Big Bang, 2.5 Men.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, dear. I'm such a stick-in-the-mud. I can't even stand the trailers for "True Blood."

I'm really looking forward to "Modern Family." It looks quirky and well-cast.

I enjoyed "Hung." I'm glad "Mad Men is back on--love that one--have I said? "Breaking Bad" is excellent. Complex characters. And for humor, give me "30 Rock." I've also enjoyed "The Office," but I only catch it occasionally.

"Saturday Night Live" has really climbed out of the hole it was in for a while. I don't always watch, but it's grabbed me occasionally. "Daily Show" and "Colbert" are always on my list, of course. I'm into the new season of "Project Runway," and I like the follow-up "Models of the Runway."

Cindy Gerard said...

Deb - well color us both happy:o)

Kathy - I watched Modern Family last night. I think I'm going to like it! Cute, quirky and funny.

And the office is one of my all time fav comedies.

Kylie said...

Ohmygod didn't you just LOVE it when DiNozo and McGee thought they'd narrowed down Ziva's replacement to a tough as nails agent--then Gibbs made her cry???? There were so many awesome moments of that show. My husband and I are totally hooked.

Tried watching NCIS LA but there's no chemistry with the characters and it sort of fizzled for me. I did really like The Good Wife and think it has lots of potential.

I really really tried to watch Criminal Minds again last night. Love the plots--the acting not so much.

Castle is great fun but I can't prevent myself from shouting a couple times each show--that would never happen!!!!! It requires a huge suspension of disbelief that a police department would allow a civilian anywhere near a crime scene. But it has a lot going for it, including dialogue and fantastic characterization. Throw in the sizzle between Castle and Beckett and it's still well worth watching.

I'm still waiting for the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy and Medium.

Cindy Gerard said...

Kylie - YES on Gibbs reducing the macho woman to tears. Perfect!

I used to watch Greys and loved it but it got really over the top for me a couple seasons ago and I stopped. I might try it again this year.

And Medium moved from NBC to CBS did you all know that? Love that show too.

Terry Odell said...

I'm totally into NCIS. I remember Mark Harmon as a college football player. And my all-time fave line. DiNozzo (I think) says, "I wonder what Ducky looked like when he was younger." Without skipping a beat, Gibbs says, 'Illya Kuryakin.'

The Los Angeles spin off seems like it might work -- hubby loves the fancy computer stuff, and I like that there's already a glimpse into some character depth and back story.

But I'm not proud. I've been watching 'hunk of the week' shows since ... since television was in black and white, I guess.

Cindy Gerard said...

Terry - I forgot about that line! And yes, it was perfect! (For those of you who didn't watch The Man From Uncle, Illya Kuryakin WAS Ducky's role in that show. Too funny!

Terry Odell said...

Oh, don't tell me there are people out there who don't know the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (and I even know what the acronym stands for). I can't be that old, can I?

Minna said...

Cindy, Globe Trekker has been on tv for years. It's one of the best travel shows there is. At first it was called Lonely Planet. Their webpages are still called Lonely Planet. I recommend their Thorn Tree forums. From there I've often gotten help, whether my problem has something to do with language or food...

Oh, I also occasionally watch Law and Order: UK (yes, there really is UK version!) and Last of the Summer Wine -it has been on tv here in Finland for couple of years, but in England it has been running for over 20 years.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, phooey. I missed the first episode of Modern Family? That's the problem with network TV series. You have to remember once a week. (I don't tivo.)

catslady said...

My two favorites are NCIS and Castle and then the original CSI. Everything you said about the characters. The only thing I would add is these shows all have a great sense of humor to them.I really think that's what puts them above a lot of other similar shows out there.

Razlover's Book Blog said...

My favorites are CSI Miami, NCIS, Criminal Minds, CSI and Cold Case.

I also watch NCIS: LA (not as good as the original), Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.

Does anyone know if Southland and Damages are coming back I also watch those, thanks?

Cindy Gerard said...

Terri - I know what it stood for once but I've forgotten. i think that makes me older than you with a shot memory :o) or maybe it's just deadline hell...:o)

Minna - Finland. how how wonderful to have you here. And I love the show title. Sounds lovely

You're right, Catslady. LOVE the element of humor. Gotta have it to keep things real.

Cindy Gerard said...

Razlovers - I saw Southland advertised so I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing it soon!

Kathy, what was really clever about Modern Families was that there were little vignettes of each individual family all through the show then at the end you find out that they are all connected in some way. It came out of no where but yet was completely plausible. Love it when that happens

Keri Ford said...

Love NCIS, though the opener was a bit flippy and made it hard to follow. Liked NCIS: LA, BUT think it would have been so much better if LL was G and Chris played LL's character. LL has that intensity and sit up and notice things that Chris just isn't bringing to the character 'G'

Looking forward to Grey's tonight and can't wait for Castle next week. if you've never watched Castle, you could just follow Nathan Fillon on Twitter and fall for the guy. he's such a cut up. Him and Beckette have this perfect attraction chemistry and also this cute awkwardness as they step around each other. Truly one of the best shows I've seen in a long time where they came out 1st season and nailed the characters/acting/story tone

MaryC said...

Love, love, love NCIS! I just finished watching Season 6 on DVD before the seaon opener. The cast works so well together - one of my favorite episodes was when the team
got to meet Gibb's father.

I did watch the opening of Criminal Minds, but I do miss Mandy Patinkin.

Guilty pleasure is Dancing With The Stars.

Cindy Gerard said...

Keri - you might be right about LL and Chris swapping. i like LL in this but, something just isn't right.

Mary - oh yes... dancing with the stars. Too much fun.

Mayberry Mom said...

NCIS is my favorite show also. I have to admit to a soft spot for McGeek, I mean McGee :o)

I love how Tony is complicated though. So much more going on under the surface than meets the eye. And I do see some similarities between him and Johnny Duane!

Mark Harmon is EXCELLENT as Gibbs. He's a good looking man, but he's the same age as my parents, so I try not to dwell on that too much! LOL

Looking forward to FEEL THE HEAT!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Mayberry mom. i agree. McGee is an unsung hero on the show. He's so pragmatic and serious and yet he's got a little of the devil in him and he doesn't let Tony get under his skin.

Thank for the props on LIES and being excited over Feel the Heat. I'm excited too :o)

Linda Henderson said...

My two favorite shows, NCIS and Castle. I really enjoyed the season opener on both. The teamwork on NCIS and the comedy on Castle. Yes there is always a murder to solve on Castle but he always has some funny one liners. Can't wait to see if they hook them up. Also wonder if they will hook up Tony and Ziva. I also like the Mentalist. I'm so glad they moved it to Thursday because I never seemed to be able to watch it on Tuesday. And since I'm NOT a Grey's Anatomy fan I look forward to something to watch on Thursday.

robynl said...

love CSI:Miami, NCIS, House, The First 48, etc.

I'm drawn to these shows because good happens, the characters become my friends and they work well together.

Cindy Gerard said...

Linda - I agree on Castle. As Kylie said, you have to suspend disbelief because some of that stuff would never happen but it's a cute show and I love the inter play between the leads

Robynl - you hit on the one thing no one has mentioned: good happens. The old 'good triumphs over evil'. Of course that's why these shows draw us. It's the core of what's important~


At the risk of making many enemies, I am going to disagree with all of you. I can't get into most TV shows. I don't even want to DISCUSS the reality shows--they're more unrealstic than anything I'VE ever witnessed in real life. Eek! Eating bugs and sticking octupi in my bathing suit! It's not gonna happen. Ever. Although I'll sometimes pay attention when my husband watches TV, there's little to draw me in.

I used to watch (and enjoy) Grey's Anatomy, but all the melodrama and "incestuous" relationships among the docs strikes me as unrealistic. OK, yes, I know watching TV is supposed to be an escape--but I can't suspend my disbelief enough to watch it. While some of the characters are sympathetic, others are downright annoying.

I'll watch the Law and Order/SVU show from time to time, and do enjoy it, but not enough to remember what day and channel it's on.

I suspect a lot of my preference for a good book over TV or a movie is that I'm primarily auditory and not visual. The loud sounds, rapid-fire visuals, and flashing colors unsettle me. When I read a book, I guess, I have more control over my environment and can more easily submerge myself into the escape.

A TV show I used to watch and love, and would watch if it were on again: Magnum PI. I loved Higgins almost as much as I loved Magnum. Rick was an idiot, but he was harmless...and SO like a couple of guys I knew. See? That TV show has to be over 20 years old and I remember each of the characters' names and all kinds of details about them. (Apollo and Zeus were the Dobies. THEY were more sympathetic characters than some on TV shows these days.)

I probably watched Law and Order two weeks ago and while I know all sorts of things about Olivia Benson and her partner, I can't come up with her partner's name right now--although I do know his real first name is Christopher.

Sigh. Maybe my "issues" are just advancing age...

Terry Odell said...

And do you remember the name of TC's helicopter charter company. :-)

I have very few shows I make a point of watching, although for some reason, I plan my lunch break around What Not to Wear. That and a few cooking shows like Top Chef are the extent of my 'reality TV.'

I find I don't have the patience for much television. I tend to tape it so I don't have to waste time on commercials.